I have the great privilege today of being one of the first posters for the Litfuse Publicity blog tour for Jana Kelley’s newest release, Mercy Triumphs.
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Mercy Triumphs is the conclusion to Kelley’s debut trilogy of convergent stories of three women living in modern-day North Sudan. I didn’t want to read this third one without reading the first two so I have literally devoured all three over the past five days! They are un-put-down-able!
Book title: Mercy Triumphs
Author: Jana Kelley
Release date: September 4, 2017
Publisher: New Hope Publishers
Print Length: 230 pages
Summary from the publisher:
Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.
Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God’s mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don’t deserve it.
Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader’s eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.
Words fail me to describe how much I love all three of these books! Do yourself a huge favor and start with the first one, Side by Side! If you’re like me, you’ll buy the next one, Door to Freedom, approximately three minutes after you finish the first one because even though all of the books resolve well without cliffhangers, I just can’t get enough of these characters, and I want to know what happens next in their lives! I’m so thankful to Litfuse Publicity group for sending me a complimentary copy of this third book!
Mrs. Kelley’s characters are so realistically portrayed that, having lived and worked in similar but different Muslim cultures, I could give a real life person for every single character I encountered in these books! Mia had so many of my own thoughts and reactions over the past 13 years of living in Muslim countries that at times I wondered if Mrs. Kelley had been reading my journal! But the fact of the matter is that Mrs. Kelley herself has lived in several similar settings so she is writing from experience, and she does it superbly!
I seriously can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about these books. What I loved most is how they moved my heart to prayer and action for my Muslim friends and neighbors and those I don’t know around the world. It’s easy to forget how God is moving, and these books reminded me and spurred me to join Him in His work in any way I can!
Another thing I really appreciated about these books is how the characters, both major and minor, grew so realistically. None of them had a perfectly linear upward or downward growth pattern; instead there were highs and lows, moments of awe-inspiring faith followed by sinfully ignoring the guidance of the Holy Spirit and then repentance and then more upward growth, then times of distraction and stagnation, etc. No one in the book ever “arrived” spiritually and no one seemed to be a completely lost cause as seems to happen in a lot of Christian fiction. Every single character was on their own journey, and I was so impressed with how the author portrayed each journey so masterfully! Mrs. Kelley was even realistic enough and brave enough to have some good and likeable characters fall away from the Lord and not come back. It hurt just like it does in real life and was again a reminder to pray for some specific people as well as unknown ones on similar paths.
One word of caution: these books deal with some intense topics like female circumcision and harsh persecution so I strongly advise parents to preview these before handing them to teens. Nonetheless, I highly recommend these books to men and women alike who want insight into how the Lord is working in the Muslim world and in the lives of Westerners who live there! It will help you pray more effectively and support those you know living in these countries, and it might just move you to step out and talk to your Muslim neighbor across the street or maybe even move your family around the world!
About the Author
Author of the captivating novel Side by Side, Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.
Julia | Christian Bookaholic